At Google, we are passionate about introducing students to open source software development. Since 2005, the Open Source Programs team at Google has worked with over 10,000 students and over 485 open source projects in a variety of fields to create more code for us all.

For students ages 13-17 interested in writing code that could make a difference in the world, we're excited to tell you about a program designed to introduce you to open source software development: Google Code-in.
December 1, 2014 kicks off the fifth consecutive year of this international, online contest designed to introduce pre-university students to the world of open source development. Open source projects are about more than just coding, and this contest highlights a variety of ways to contribute to open source projects.

You might be thinking to yourself:
  • What is open source? 
  • What types of work do open source projects do? 
  • I’ve only taken one computer science class, can I contribute to an open source project? 
  • I’m not really into coding, how else can I contribute to open source? 
  • I’ve never participated in open source or an online contest before, can someone help guide me
  • Open source sounds fun, how can I get started?

If you’ve wondered about any of these questions and are a pre-university student (age 13-17) then we hope you'll join in the fun and excitement of the Google Code-in contest starting Monday, December 1st.

For seven weeks from early December to mid January, the Google Code-in contest will have students working with up to 12 selected open source projects on a variety of tasks. The different categories of tasks that students will be able to work on include:
  1. Code: writing or refactoring 
  2. Documentation/Training: creating/editing documents and helping others learn more
  3. Outreach/research: community management, outreach/marketing, or studying problems and recommending solutions
  4. Quality Assurance: testing and ensuring code is of high quality 
  5. User Interface: user experience research or user interface design and interaction
For more details on how you can sign up and participate, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Google Code-in site. On November 12, we'll also announce the the open source organizations that will be participating in the contest.

We look forward to welcoming hundreds of students from around the world into the open source family again this year, and hope you'll be a part of it this year.